Posts Tagged With: “God’s Away on Business”

Day 1863: Pain

How many people reading this are in pain, physically or emotionally?

Please do not add to that pain with painful thoughts or shame about past actions or inactions.

As a friend posted on Facebook recently, pain is not a punishment.

If pain is not a punishment, then what is it?  Let’s see what wise people have said about pain.

Fear is pain arising from anticipation of evil. — Aristotle

It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.  — Julius Caesar

There is no coming to consciousness without pain. — Carl Jung

Pain is never permanent. — Saint Teresa of Avila

Illness is the doctor to whom we pay the most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promises only; pain we obey.  — Marcel Proust

The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain. — Lord Byron

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.  — James Baldwin

Pain reaches the heart with electrical speed, but truth moves to the heart as slowly as a glacier.  — Barbara Kingsolver

All of us have ways in which we mask and cover our pain. — Iyania Vanzant

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. — Joseph Campbell

Pain and pleasure, like light and darkness, succeed each other. — Laurence Sterne

Pain is the most private experience, but its causes, whether natural or man-made, demand public accounting. — Nancy Gibbs

To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it! — Charlie Chaplin

If my art has nothing to do with people’s pain and sorrow, what is “art” for? — Ai Weiwei

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. — Bob Marley

Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends. — Tom Waits

It pains me to leave out some of the great quotes about pain.

This Tom Waits/Cookie Monster mashup helps relieve my pain:

If that doesn’t relieve your pain, here‘s some Bob Marley:

I always take pains to thank those who help me write these posts and — of course! — YOU.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 1020: So Close

As I’m typing this “So Close” post, my cat Oscar is SO close to me. My phone is NOT so close, so close down any expectation of seeing an in-the-moment photo of that. However, this other photo is so close to my current experience, that I’ll share it:

Photo on 9-15-15 at 6.50 PM

I hope Oscar’s not so close to biting my fingers — as he often is when he’s so close while I’m so close to my blog, every morning.

Oscar likes to get so close to me and my boyfriend Michael, every day. He’s also fearless about getting so close to strangers, vacuum cleaners, and our downstairs neighbor’s dog, Faxy.


Oscar’s behaviors are not so close to other cats I’ve been so close to.

I know there were other reasons why I chose the title “So Close” today, but I’m not so close to remembering those, right now.

Was it about being so close

  • to cold and snow, here in Boston, Massachusetts?
  • to collecting data to publish an article about my therapy groups?
  • to putting down a deposit on an office which is so close to my home, so I can do even more therapy groups, which are so close to my heart?
  • to finishing my thesis for a masters in Film Studies at Boston University in the 1980s, but never completing it?
  • to forgiving people who have hurt me, including a doctor at Children’s Hospital in the 1960s?
  • to superstar Jackie Chan, at a fan event  in the 1980s, when he was so close to becoming so famous in the U.S. (instead of just being the #1 movie star in Hong Kong, China, and other major parts of the world that are so close to us)?
  • to singing sensation Clay Aiken in a 2007 performance of the musical Spamalot on a Broadway, because I was the lucky audience member sitting so close that I was chosen to come up on stage and be so close to the action for so close to 10 minutes?

Because I’m so close to quoting Wikipedia whenever I’m so close to Oscar and to my keyboard, writing my daily posts, I shall now insert this quote about the musical Spamalot:

A large stone block showing a combination of letters and numbers is also revealed. (The letters are based on the seat numbering system used by each theatre. They are changed from performance to performance to discourage audience members from intentionally booking any of the possible seats. The seat is typically on the aisle in one of the first few rows nearest the orchestra. In the Broadway production and on the tour it is either A101, B101, C101 or D101; i.e., Seat 101 – which is house right of the center aisle – of Rows A, B, C, or D.[3] In the West End Production a word is revealed – DONE, CONE or BONE, referring to D1, C1 and B1 respectively.) After pondering the final clue, Arthur admits that they’re “a bit stumped with the clue thing” and asks God to “give them a hand”. A large hand points to the audience and Arthur realises that the letters and numbers refer to a seat number in the audience. The grail is “found” (with some sleight of hand) under the seat and the person sitting in the seat is rewarded with a small trophy and a polaroid photo. (“The Holy Grail”).

Because that quote is not so close to capturing how much fun it is to be so close to the actors on stage during a performance of Spamalothere’s a photo so close to me:


I am so close, but yet so far, from why I initially started this “So Close” post, which is this:

Last night,  two items for side-position sleeping were so close to me as I was so close to falling asleep.  Throughout the night, I was so close to retrieving the side-positioning pillow and the McGyvered backpack I’ve been using. But I never did.

Why, sometimes, are we so close but so far from taking a small action we know will help us?

Are you so close to leaving a comment, at this point?

I am so close to finishing this post, but I still haven’t included any photos I took yesterday, when I was so close to all these things:

IMG_5980 IMG_5981 IMG_5982 IMG_5985 IMG_5986 IMG_5987 IMG_5990 IMG_5993 IMG_5994 IMG_5995 IMG_5996 IMG_5997 IMG_5998

Now that I’ve shared those all-new images, what music am I so close to including here?

Inspired by one of the photos so close, above, I am taking the small action of resharing this video, where Tom Waits is so close to sounding like the Cookie Monster:

I am so close to laughing whenever I watch God’s Away on Business, created by somebody who is so close to being a total genius.

Now, I am so close to finally finishing this post! Here’s another all-new photo, from yesterday:


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 886: Positive and Negative

Yesterday, like any other day, contained the positive and the negative.

First, I went to a conference on medical care innovation,  at a Boston hotel, where people talked about both. Then, I went to the hospital where I work, to facilitate a therapy group.

Here are some of the positive and negative topics we discussed at that evening therapy  group:

As you can see, we talked a lot about the balance of positive and negative. We discussed yin  and yang and how you can’t have one without the other. Here’s something positive and negative I drew, about that:

Here are some more negative and positive photos I took yesterday, during my positive and negative day:



Do some of those images seem more positive or negative to you?

When I got home last night, our negative and positive  cats — Harley and Oscar — further demonstrated this concept of positive and negative. Oscar is surprisingly positive about the vacuum cleaner …

… and Harley is negative about it.

My 17-year-old son, Aaron, is neither negative nor positive about the vacuum cleaner, but he is positive he loves the negative and positive singer/songwriter Tom Waits. I’m positive about that,  because Aaron came home last night from a positive banquet celebrating his successful one-act play, dressed as Tom Waits:

I’m positive that’s a fake cigarette Aaron is holding. He would never do anything negative, like smoking.

I’m also positive that I want to post two videos of Tom Waits singing his negative/positive song — “God’s Away on Business” — for this positive/negative post.

Which version do you think is more positive or negative — the live one with Tom Waits and the Kronos Quartet or the one which a positive genius created with clips of the Cookie Monster?

Please leave any positive and/or negative thoughts you choose in a comment; I promise I will have only positive things to say, in return.

Positive/negative gratitude to everybody I encountered yesterday, including those attending the innovation in primary care conference, people in last night’s therapy group, my friend Jan (who was holding the colorful cell phone), my boyfriend Michael (who was holding the vacuum cleaner), Oscar, Harley, Aaron, and Tom Waits. And special thanks to you, for making this post part of your positive/negative day.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , | 40 Comments

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